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Tulsa Public Schools

District Partner 2015, 2017-present

ERS is partnering with Tulsa (TPS) to map resource use with a focus on change management, create a teacher compensation model, create a five-year strategic plan, and connect differentiated teaching roles with blended learning. 

District Facts

Tulsa is at a unique moment of opportunity as new superintendent Deborah Gist begins her leadership as the district is two years into a five-year teacher effectiveness strategy, a robust and trusted evaluation system that allows the district to better utilize its teachers. TPS will need to leverage these strengths as it faces the challenge of educating its 42,000 students. It faces a budget crunch, student achievement scores that lag behind the rest of the state, and a struggle to recruit and retain high-quality teachers. 

Work Focus


  • Revamped Resource Mapping: Conduct a detailed analysis of TPS' people, time, and money, to identify how it could use its resources more strategically and equitably to improve student achievement. This revamped version focuses on change management, building TPS' capacity to make the changes itself
  • Teacher Compensation Model: Support TPS in developing a new teacher compensation model that will attract and retain high-quality teachers
  • Track the Big Bets: Ensure that TPS initiatives, from putting a device in the hands of every TPS student to alternative school designs, are part of an equitable and coherent strategy
  • Create Five-Year Plan: Work with TPS to create a new five-year strategic plan with the support of rich data analysis and strategic insight
  • Principal Support: Support principal supervisors to strategically differentiate their support of principals based on the recent challenges or successes with respect to hiring, smart retention, and teacher growth
  • Talent Decision Planner: Support TPS as it works through a beta test of the Talent Decision Planner, a tool and framework that links the myriad data principals receive to the decisions they must make to maximize teacher talent

Findings and Outcomes

  • Human Capital: Based on ERS HC analysis, TPS is working to improve their system-level strategies for retaining their novice teachers, and bolster their support of school-level novice retention strategies
  • Teacher Compensation: TPS is using the ERS-developed TPS Compensation Model to inform their decisions about how to evolve their teacher compensation system in fiscally sustainable ways.
  • Principal Support: TPS is using ERS’ Talent Decision Planner tool to strategically plan out the support Talent Management Partners provide to principals in their new October STAT meetings
  • Special Education: Increase investment in Special Education program management and oversight.
  • Resource Allocation: Based on the ERS financial analysis, TPS managed austerity cuts by strategically reducing and repurposing central office staff.
  • Human Capital: ERS adapted the principal support tool to empower principal supervisors to provide individualized coaching and support to their principals.
  • Flexibility and Autonomy: ERS facilitated a flexibility working group with district staff  to review the list of resources given to schools and determine what resources could be "unlocked" for principals in the future, giving them greater flexibility and autonomy. 

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